How to Cook Dried Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Without Soaking
Ever wondered how to cook dried chickpeas without going through the trouble of soaking them first?
Dried beans are always a tough prospect when it comes to cooking. They usually tend to turn out too hard or dry, even after hours of cooking. Getting chickpeas in a can saves the long cooking process, but the taste doesn’t even compare to a nice pot of slow cooked chickpeas with the right seasoning.
The trick to cooking beans for most people is in the soaking. Whether you’re making black beans, red beans, pinto beans, black eyed peas, or garbanzos, most people will recommend a good long overnight soak. This supposedly lets the beans hydrate before you add the heat, allowing them to cook in a shorter period of time.
In my experience, soaking when cooking chickpeas isn’t necessary. If you want your meal tomorrow, then by all means go ahead and soak them; it doesn’t hurt. You can still enjoy a delicious bowl of chickpeas without any soaking however. Here’s how.
First of all, go ahead and wash the beans well. A lot of time there are small bits of leaf, wood, or rocks in the unprocessed beans. Put them in a spaghetti colander and run cold water over them for a few minutes, shaking them around as you do it.
Next, put them in a large pot with plenty of water and bring it to a quick boil. Once your chickpeas are boiling, reduce the heat to a light simmer.
Here’s the trick to how to cook chickpeas: don’t add any seasonings at the beginning.
The salt in most seasonings makes the beans tougher and more resistant to hydration. Warming them softens the outer layer, relaxing the membranes so that the water can move through them more easily. So in effect you’re taking all the hours of soaking and reducing the time by making the job easier.
Cook the chickpeas on low heat for three or four hours, tasting one every now and then until you get the desired softness. Once they’re as soft as you would like, then add any spices you want and let them simmer for another 30 minutes. My favorite is a dash of salt and cayenne pepper, and then a tiny sprinkling of paprika, fresh chopped cilantro, and a dash of olive oil once the chickpeas are off the heat and drained.
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